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Britain Winterim

Day one of the Britain Conquest and Nationalism Winterim is in the books. The flight was smooth. We arrived at our hotel in time for lunch and then toured Westminster Abbey and Parliament. We had an amazing tour guide at Parliament. He managed to fit 1000 years of British government into a couple of hours. We ended with a good Italian meal and are now headed to bed to get some rest.

The Britain Winterim learned a lot about war today. We started at the Churchill War Rooms, the bunker where Churchill conducted much of WWII. Those rooms were left mostly untouched at the end of the war, so walking through them gives a strong sense of the atmosphere. There is also a museum dedicated to Churchill’s life there that the students really enjoyed.

We made a quick stop at the National Gallery after lunch so students could see paintings of many of the masters, including Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Picasso, Rembrandt, and Renoir. From there, we walked to the Imperial War Museum, a museum built in the wake of WWI in the hopes that by sharing the stories of war, we might be able to avoid further war. The exhibits there are on WWI, WWII, and the Holocaust. There is also an exhibit on the Ukraine. That is an important but tough museum; the students felt they learned a lot there.
We began day two at St. Paul’s Cathedral, where we learned that during WWII, a bomb came through one window, smashing through the floor into the crypt and blowing the whole dome six inches into the air before it settled right back where it began.  Most of us climbed the stairs all the way to the top of the dome, where the view of London was good, despite the clouds.
From the cathedral, we wound our way to the remains of the Roman wall that was the city wall for centuries. We passed the place where Shakespeare lived when he was in London. 
After lunch, we walked to the British Museum. Favorite finds there were the Rosetta Stone, the Sutton Hoo exhibit, ancient chessmen, the Parthenon Marbles, and the Asian exhibit.
And we finished the day with a great dinner at a Dutch pancake house.

Day Three
Today we took the train from London to Edinburgh. Beautiful views today. We had sunshine for the North Sea, and we scored a rainbow and a lighthouse. We had some time to explore the Royal Mile before dinner at the Beehive Inn, where we enjoyed such Scottish specialties as fish and chips, haggis, and sticky toffee pudding.